Champions League - Wenger fury over Ramsey red

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger described the sending off of Aaron Ramsey as "unbelievable" after his side picked up a 0-0 draw at Besiktas in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.

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Arsene Wenger - Arsenal manager

WHAT HAPPENED

The 23-year-old Welshman picked up his second yellow for pulling back former Gunners midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup, but Wenger felt referee Milorad Mazic, who also received criticism for some of his performances at the World Cup, made a strange decision.

"Neither the first nor the second yellow card was deserved for Aaron Ramsey," he said after the game.

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"When you see some of the fouls that have been made tonight and we go home with Ramsey (given) a red card, it is a bit unbelievable.

"In the second half the performance of the referee was very bad. Ramsey's second yellow card, I cannot see where that comes from, it was a huge decision.

"I felt just a lot was wrong in the second half but, overall, it was a difficult game maybe to referee as well because everybody did fight for every ball, so maybe it was not easy for the referee as well."

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Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey trudges off following his red card against Besiktas (AFP)

WHAT WENGER SAID ABOUT BESIKTAS

Although he was annoyed about Saturday's match-winner against Crystal Palace being dismissed, Wenger acknowledged the part played by Slaven Bilic's well-drilled outfit.

"It was a difficult game, played at a good pace, a frenetic pace, from the first to the last minute and we could have won it," he added.

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"We always want to win but look, Besiktas could have won the game, and we could have won the game as well. Maybe a draw is a fair result because both teams had chances to win the game.

"We know the second leg will be certainly tight again, but we play at home, so the task is clear for us, we want to win."

Another potential headache for the Arsenal boss ahead of that second leg could be Mikel Arteta after the Spaniard went off after 50 minutes with an apparent ankle injury.

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Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey against Besiktas (AFP)

OUR VIEW

Whatever Wenger or Arsenal fans say, it was a clear second yellow card and he didn't have to do it. Ramsey is arguably Arsenal's best player, although Alexis may well usurp him this season. As such it is a huge blow to be without him at the Emirates for the second leg. The absence of the injured Arteta is not ideal either.

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However, if there's one part of the pitch where Arsenal are strong, it's central midfield: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini are like-for-like replacements, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can also play through the middle, and Mesut Ozil - rested because of his World Cup exploits - could well be involved now. Arsenal still remain favourites to prgress.

WHAT THE MEDIA SAID

Dominic Fifield, The Guardian: "Arsenal’s pristine record in Champions League qualifying games has been sullied, even if a bad-tempered stalemate in Istanbul still offers hope that passage can be forced into the group stage of this competition for a 15th consecutive season. This ended as a fractious occasion, with Aaron Ramsey dismissed, the Besiktas manager, Slaven Bilic, sent from the dug-out and Arsène Wenger pelted with a bottle from the stands as he departed on the final whistle. That incident has been reported to UEFA though, in truth, Wenger will be grateful to have emerged unscathed in more ways than one from this awkward first leg."

WHAT THE FANS SAID

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